I haven’t abandoned you, dear readers, I’ve just been a victim of excessive traveling. Which can never really be construed as a bad thing. I returned from Chicago the Sunday before Christmas, which in turn kept me busy until just before the New Year when I scurried off visiting in New York. So, it’s not you, it’s me. Which is a phrase that sounds irreparably false until you must say it yourself. Anyway, here are a few things that are on my mind this week:
The Hudson Valley.
My friend, A, moved off to the Hudson Valley when she graduated from the Ohio State University something like six years ago. Shortly after that I went to her wedding and then conversed lightly on facebook and heard tales from mutual friends. I’m horrible at keeping in touch, it’s really probably my worst quality in life. I’ve lost so many people through the years and the saddest bit is that I’m really in no position to throw friends away because I’m so damned shy and judgmental. Now A’s had two kids and it was time for a visit. So D and I went to Beacon to say hello. And, because we both work ridiculous hours and days, we went over New Years since there wasn’t really any other time for it. Hanging out with D is always strange these days. Not bad, of course, but strange. Something like nostalgic for something I’m not really anymore. I have no doubt that I’ve changed since we became friends and there are a lot of reasons why and why not. We were so close once and when we see each other now it feels like no time has past, but when we separate I’m always faced with this reality and I wonder if I ever was some of the things I thought I was. I know that sounds stupid, and it is, also complicated and frustrating. But being around A as well made it feel like old times. Old times that had matured, germinated, and started to make sense. We had a lot of fun. And A’s daughter is probably the coolest kid I’ve ever met.
But there is also the scenery, which I’d like to talk about for a moment here. The Hudson river is pretty spectacular. Every time I’m near it I forget how immense it really is. And that’s probably because the majority of the times I’ve encountered it the river was sitting next to one of the most immense cities in the world. Anything dwarfs compared to that. Besides, I’ve always been far more entranced with Asphalt Jungles than natural beauty. But, maybe it’s something to do with getting older, I’ve started to notice natural beauty in way that I never did before. And the snaking Hudson is really nothing short of impressive. Whenever I go to a new place I can’t help but allow my imagination to journey back to when it was settled, and how it grew, and how it was. I imagine the Dutch traveling up the Hudson from their prime spot in what’s now Manhattan and settling small towns along the way. Towns beside this thick body of flowing water that dot the banks like freckles.
Pretty Little Liars.
Is back. I was at work the other day recounting everything that had happened on the episode to a bunch of people that could not possibly care about the exploits of four fictional teenagers being plagued by a mysterious character sending menacing messages. And quite right. I know that I probably shouldn’t love this show so, I’m far too old to love stories about teenagers, but who cares. This show is smartly crafted and always keeps me wondering what the hell is going to happen next. Favorite scene this week? When the girls go to check out the tree they found with incriminating evidence carved into it and find nothing but a stump. How could I not love this level of ridiculousness?
Is also back. Which is far more amazing news than one might imagine given the fact that during it’s third series ITV canceled this show and then subsequently revived it. How often does that happen? And this show is really good, actually. It’s about a group of people who take care of anomalies that open up throughout England (why nowhere else? That hasn’t been covered, but probably will be in the planned Canadian version) that are portals in time. Sometimes dinosaurs and other creatures like to pop through and they take care of it. But of course there are lots of complications, a few villains through the years, that sort of thing. Series three ended with two of the characters being trapped in the Cretaceous period with no way home, so it would have sucked royally if they truly had canceled the show. This series is about the changes that came about in the year they were trapped there. And there were a lot. Okay, so the first series was a bit cheesy, but this plotlines have developed into some pretty fine storytelling over the years. And it doesn’t hurt that I’m besotted with both dinosaurs and Andrew Lee Potts.
The Immortal Love.
So, I work at a crafting supply store, and every week I help to unload the truck, sort the stuff that comes off, and put it on the shelves. We’re supposed to do this dourly without having any fun, but that’s stupid so we always laugh and poke fun at the merchandise. Because the majority of the stuff that’s sold in this store is pretty much just utter crap. Die Cuts With a View (DCWV) is a scrapbook supply company that’s pretty popular. They have a lot of different lines like beach, or Taj Mahal, or wedding. Whatever, you get the picture. So on Wednesday they rolled in their new line for us. The Immortal Love. Not Immortal Love, the Immortal Love. It’s basically such a Twilight rip-off that it’s amazing. I may have to buy the pack of scrapbooking paper just because it sends me into such hysterics every time. And I’m not talking similar themes, I’m talking photos of the woods, Pacific Northwest natural scenery, apples, red ribbons, chess pieces. Amazing. So of course I walked around saying The Immortal Love in my best throaty commercial voice. The advertisement I created involves a girl in a flowy black dress walking around mist all distraught saying “Where is my love? My love is immortal.” Then I turn towards the audience and say “The Immortal Love… collection. Exclusively at [the place where I work].” (Note: It’s not an exclusive, it just sounded dramatic.) The best part is that if they had rolled out this line of paper a couple of years ago I wouldn’t have blinked twice, but now? It’s just so good.
Scary, Scary Thoughts.
I was thinking today, as I cashed out a woman at The Job who was buying photo albums, how much stock we all put into technology. While the concept is awesome in the way that the Grand Canyon is awesome and not in the way my outfits are awesome it’s also a little frightening. I wonder what would happen if all this technology was suddenly rendered unusable. Like in the show Dark Angel, produced by James Cameron and starring a young Jessica Alba as genetically enhanced escapee Max Guevara and set in post-apocalyptic Seattle. It ran from the year 2000 to 2002, not very long but was a sufficient mix of ass kicking and dystopian society for me. Anyway, the point is that the world of Dark Angel was thrown into chaos when a series of electromagnetic pulses were set off over the United States, by terrorists, rendering technology defunct. Everything disappeared overnight, everything. And while this makes a pretty intriguing plotline for a sci-fi drama I can’t help but think the reality (if it ever could be) would be terrifying. While I had been previously been thinking “Why buys photo albums anymore?” I suddenly started to wonder how it would feel to loose all my photos because they were stored on a hard drive rather than a drawer. The same is true for my writing. I struggled with the decision to either let my blog posts float in cyberspace or keep a hard copy on my computer desktop, but never did I wonder if I should print them out. And that’s just my blog posts, not even mentioning all that “for real” writing I’ve collected over the years. My whole life is copied somewhere in approximately a hundred and forty gigabytes; would deleting them delete me?